Is foggy a state of the weather, or a state of the mind? Sleep is a wonderful thing. You close your eyes and drift into oblivion, at least that is the idea of it all. My life is gradually becoming composed of alarms and warning signals, in case I forget and one of the things I am beginning to forget is to wake up. It never used to be like that. I tossed and turned like we all do now and again. Sleeping at night is normal, a fool’s game. We all go to bed at one point between dusk and dawn, whether we sleep is a question of how foggy your brain becomes.
I hate falling asleep in front of the TV in the evening, life is too short to sleep it away and so the midday sleep was integrated into my time table. I was a working woman all my life until the powers that be decided I was too old, young blood was necessary and I probably did not look so good when visitors arrrived at the office. They wanted to see young and lovely and not old and grey I assume. At least when I walked out on my last day, the average age sank by about 20 years in the office. I longed for a midday sleep after lunch, but I returned to the office and propped myself up at my desk and bravely managed to keep my eyes open for an hour until the crisis passed. Talking to Mr. Swiss about this working sleep syndrome, he confirmed his also suffered from these symptoms.
When I was relegated to the senior citizens club, Mr. Swiss had already joined, so he had already designed his after dinner sleep. At first I refused. I might be retired and they might shoot horses, but not me. After a couple of months I surrended to a midday sleep. My Swiss had already adopted the settee for this, so I was only left with a bed. I was always a believer in going the whole hog, and not just half way, so I disappeared into the bed after lunch.
In the meanwhile I have been diagnosed with MS and fatigue is a symptom. I was a late diagnosis and had probably been living with the disease for at least 30-40 years until it was a proven fact through various medical examinations.
After 8 years of retirement I now have my daily routine mapped out. However, this after lunch sleeping session was slowly becoming a coma like condition. In the morning I have no problem of waking, but after lunch it was becoming dangerous. I have one of those wonder iPhones that govern my life and they have so many different tones for an alarm. In the morning I am awakened by birdsong on two iPads and the iPhone. Sleeping after lunch was becoming a dangerous thing when I now and again slept for almost 3 hours. I was sleeping my life away, living in a permanent brain fog and I was happy in this state of brain fog.
Eventually we both realised that this could not continue and now I have a new alarm after lunch, barking dogs. Now if you have your iPhone on the top volume and hear dogs barking, you wake up: even my cat disappears to a dark corner until I switch it off, but it works. If someone calls me on my phone (we do not have a landline) the animal farm is complete because ducks begin to quack. The first time someone called me I began to search outside to see if there were ducks in the garden.
Of course I could tell you about my survival against the London smogs of the fifties, walking home from school parting the thick clouds of yellow with my hand using my homing sense to reach home. I could tell you about sneezing into a handkerchief afterwards and finding traces of black soot on the handerchief, deposits of the smog, but I survived.
Today I just have to remember to wake up after a sleep, but thanks to the modern telephone devices I can do it. I have even discovered a timer for the little things in between, like not forgetting to switch on the washing machine, or boiling eggs. Who needs fog today when you have a smartphone.